By: Henry J. Fromage –
Last year, I didn’t make it to 365, but try, try again and all that. For 2018 I start right on target by recapping some of 2017’s highlights.
1. The Stupids
Don’t ask me why my brother and I put this on after the stroke of midnight, but a year into our brave new world you can’t argue that it doesn’t feel strangely apropos. Also, it’s exactly as advertised- pretty goddamned stupid (and the crickets throughout are deafening). A well-deserved Six Pack.
2. Darkest Hour
The third of one hell of a triptych of Dunkirk films examining the incredibly inspirational historical event from different angles, Joe Wright’s focus on Winston Churchill’s first weeks as Prime Minister may be the best of the bunch. A hearty Toast.
3. Ingrid Goes West
Did you know Instagram perpetuates unrealistic lifestyle porn striving and consists mostly of a massaged quasi-reality? So, yeah, this doesn’t exactly tell you anything you don’t know, but Aubrey Plaza’s exploration of some pretty dark character psychology may still be worth your time. Three Beers.
4. Captain Underpants
I can’t contest that this ADHD-riddled animation captures the spirit of the Captain Underpants books, which I absolutely loved… when I was 10 or so. Worth the nostalgia trip when in the right frame of mind, but I’m getting too old for this shit. Four Beers.
5. The Shape of Water
This signature Guillermo del Toro dark fantasy is absolutely bursting with his love of his cinema, conspiracy, monsters, gooey gore, and surprising kinkiness. While I still feel like Pan’s Labyrinth is the truest distillation of del Toro magic, this is not terribly far behind. A resounding Toast.
6. Call Me By Your Name
Luca Gugadino finally tones it down a tad and the accolades come running. This is a no doubt handsome and extremely well-acted late summer romance/arthouse coming of age film that Oscar so dearly loves. Personally, the ennui of the idle rich and the age dynamic left me a bit cold to this, but there’s no denying it’s well made. Three Beers for me.
6. Lady MacBeth
Here’s one that should have more heat on it, although it’s emotionally frigidity, as a rich landowner’s wife discovers she’s going to have to seize the life she wants- through bloody force, if need be. Impeccably shot and brutally frank, this is a hell of a calling card for first time director William Oldroyd and the riveting Florence Pugh. Two very well earned Beers.